Here's the third in my 3-part series, which consists of completely unrelated topics and has taken a bit longer than I originally wanted.  I'm dealing quite well, I'm hoping you hold up, too.

So, what could possibly be the grand finale of this little trifecta?  In short, I'm torn.  I'm trying to come to terms with my needs and wants and figuring what fits where.  Still confused?  Read on.

I love my Buell.  It is hands down my most favorite bike I've owned or ridden.  It's fast enough for me, great on gas, super comfortable, lightweight, handles two up well for the amount I need it and offers plenty of storage.  On top of that, I've put a lot of effort into getting it to fit my needs well.

But all of that said, it is still a 10-year-old machine that wasn't ever exactly known for it's dependability even when it was new.  Most of the modifications I've already made, and some that are still on the to-do list are merely to correct issues with the bike's construction or design in the first place (having to reinforce and alter the mounting of the saddlebags comes to mind, as well as adding the HID headlight).  This mixture of modified parts and questionable dependability to begin with (despite having never left me stranded, but has had me needing to turn around to head home or just not going for a planned ride in the first place) is troublesome for me at a time when I'm down to owning only one bike.

So, that brings us to the inevitable conclusion that I'm shopping (MAYBE) for something new.  But what?  I have been looking and looking and it is damn near impossible to find a bike that offers the comfortable seating position for myself and a passanger, the luggage capacity (even aftermarket options), the lightweight and the sportiness of my Buell S3T.  Any of the Japanese "sport tourers", as nice as they are, are just too heavy and, frankly, way too expensive.  The only bike from Japan that interests me for this would be the Kawasaki Ninja 1000, but seat comfort looks questionable and the bike is just flat out ugly, in my opinion.  America, sadly, has nothing for me.  I'm not completely opposed to a Buell Ulysses, but I think my S3 is prettier and I'm not looking for an adventure-styled bike.

This brings us to Europe, who has a couple of possibilities for me.  The first is the Ducati Multistrada.  Pros?  Fast, light, comfy, lots of gizmos.  Cons?  A little too upright for my tastes and money, money, money.  Another posibility is the BMW K1300S, not terribly heavy and has more power than any mortal should desire.  But, it is VERY long and VERY expensive and bags are extra to boot.

The final, and strongest contender in my eyes, is the Triumph Sprint GT.  It's about 70lbs heavier than my Buell all gassed up, but after that, the consolations more or less come to an end.  The riding potision is slightly more aggressive than the Buell, but I don't think it's so much that it will cause any issues ergonomically.  It has close to 30 more horespower to get down the road with the extra heft.  The suspesion is a bit prehistoric, but likely plenty good enough for the realistic needs of what this bike is supposed to do.  Passanger room is plentiful.  Included hard bags along with substantial underseat storage and the little lockable glovebox in the fairing make luggage space a non-issue.  The maintenance, when you break it down, is not much worse than the Buell, which is known for being easy on the scheduled maintenance.  I have a chain drive instead of a belt - messy and takes maintenance, but at least I don't have to be worried about being stranded if it breaks.  I have to valve checks on the Trumpet, but I no longer have to do TPS resets, static timing checks and primary chain adjustments like the Buell needs.

The bottom line is I'm hopelessly smitten with the Sprint GT.  I have a test ride scheduled for tomorrow.  No idea what I'm going to do if I end up liking it, but I'll never know if I don't ride it.
cliff arruda
4/6/2012 06:10:41 am

Im in the same boat duder. Im getting married in May and so my long term love affair with my R6 comes to a close. I could probably keep it and just buy another bike, but that seems unrealistic as Ive only ridden it about three times in as many months.
Our needs are very similar, I need the room for two up long hauls, but when its just me i dont want to be pushing around a two wheeled station wagon.
Im renting a harley road king for a week ($$) while Im back visiting upstate, so that should give me a pretty good chance to get used to it....
So who knows what i will end up with, but ill be grabbing something up in june or so, lots more research to do though, i dont want to go into a big purchase blind... keep us posted on the Sprint, ive always liked the look and sound of triumphs..... also, what are you feelings on carbon fiber helmets???? Too much dough or worth it??? ive got an arai right now which does fine, but i find if i dont have earplugs in my head wants to explode after a cple hours in the saddle... not sure if im getting old or what

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4/6/2012 06:23:37 am

I've not used a carbon fiber helmet before, but I probably wouldn't spend the cash on one unless I really wanted the look. I'm sure there are some weight savings, but I'd imagine it minimal at best since there's really not that much shell material compared to everything else. As far as noise, I ride with earplugs 100% of the time - tinnitus sucks and I don't want to make mine any worse.

I will definitely keep everyone posted on how the Sprint is, whether I decide to buy or not. A Road King probably wouldn't make my top 25 list of bikes to buy, but it all depends on what you're looking for. I do like them and they handle better than pretty much anything else in Harley's lineup aside from the XR, they just don't fit what I want in a bike right now.

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cliff
4/7/2012 12:47:27 am

good deal

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Dave
4/9/2012 09:26:20 am

The Sprint is a fine choice I would probably and will probably opt for a Tiger rather than the Sprint, but the power plant is the same.
My days of screaming through the backroads at white knuckle paces have simply passed me by. I enjoy a spirited but more practical pace now and though I love my CR it barely fits the bill. I have changed the pegs and put on bags and up bars but that machine isn't really happy unless your beatin it like a red headed stepchild. So where to? I hoped for a miracle and a more buyer friendly price on the Motus but forget 30+K on a bike that simply isn't in my plans I am after all a family man. The FJ just doesn't do it for me and the concourse isn't me either the whole I4 platform I have never been fond of it works and works well just not for me. So the 1050 triple or a Vtwin is what I like. I have owned 2 Triumphs in the past and the were not great but not bad either. I loved my tbird triple and hated my speedmaster twin. but back then they only had a 955 triple in the Tiger and IDK about the Trophy? I will opt for the Tiger or the Sprint as well. I am Buell but they don't make what I need so if I buy anything soon it will be a trumpet. Unfortunately I aint buying nothing soon so I will wait it out and see what adventure or sport touring machine Mr. Buell comes out with.
Sorry to be so long winded but I like this topic thanks for opening it up.

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